Chapter 6 : Sweeteners


Sugar is the base ingredient and sweetener in nearly all kinds of candies. In addition to providing that necessary sweetness to make candy enjoyable to consume, the family of sugars is also responsible for providing the grain or the lovable crunch of candy.

The most commonly used types of sugar in confectionery are:

Baker’s sugar

Baker’s sugar was designed specifically for pastries and cakes, but some candy recipes call for its use. The crystals of baker’s sugar is much more fine than other sugars, which makes it perfect for mixing or for topping finished confectionery.

Castor sugar

Castor sugar is a type of granulated sugar. By granulated sugar, we simply mean that most of the molasses from the sugar cane has already been removed prior to packing. Castor sugar is notable because it can be dissolved almost instantly when added to a liquid batch of candy.

Powdered sugar

Also known as confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar is the second type of granulated sugar used for making candy. This sugar usually has cornstarch additives to prevent the caking of the sugar. Don’t worry though, cornstarch usually makes up only 3% or less of the entire batch of sugar.

Coarse sugar

Coarse sugar is produced by evaporating sucrose-rich cane syrup. The crystals of coarse sugar is larger than regular, granulated sugar, which makes it perfect for topping candies, pastries and other kinds of food.

Coarse sugar deserves a bit more attention than other sugars because it has a higher resistance to chemical and physical changes, making it perfect for cooking. But as a general rule, candy should always be made with low heat to minimize burning or scorching.

Table sugar

Table sugar is the most commonly used granulated sugar in candy making.

Because of its wide availability, you can be sure that many recipes will provide a way for you to use plain table sugar when making candy (or at least, use table sugar as a substitute when other types of sugar are not available).

Brown sugar

Brown sugar has a characteristic brown tone due to the amount of molasses it has. Instead of removing the molasses syrup completely, manufacturers allow some of the flavor-rich syrup to stay with the final product.

Light brown sugar is excellent for confectioneries, while dark brown sugar is used more often in curing meats and cooking dishes like baked beans. Dark brown sugar has a stronger and more dominant flavor.

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